Apollo Hospital under scanner over liver transplant imbroglio

Apollo Hospital under scanner over liver transplant imbroglio

Kolkata: The state Health department has served a showcause notice to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in the city after it found some irregularities in the procedure of a liver transplant that occurred at the hospital in August this year.

The Health department has sought clarification from the hospital authorities within the next three days failing which the department may consider cancelling its licence to carry out organ transplant, sources said.

It was learnt from the sources that Apollo Gleneagles Hospital had conducted a liver transplant on a patient from Hyderabad flouting the standard procedure laid down by the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) in the state. A meeting was conducted by the senior officials of ROTTO and the Health department on Friday, where the private hospital authorities reportedly admitted to have commited the irregularities during the transplant. The private hospital authorities, however, refused to issue any official statement in this regard.

According to a senior Health department official, the private hospital authorities transplanted the liver on Ajay Ramakant Nair, a patient from Hyderabad flouting the norms of ROTTO.

The private hospital authorities, prior to the operation allegedly made a pledge to give the liver to another patient who was from the state but later the transplant was carried out on Nair.

The liver was retrieved from a 15-year-old girl, Mullika Majumdar, a resident of Siliguri who was declared brain dead at SSKM Hospital in August.

The family members of the victim agreed to donate her liver following which the ROTTO officials were contacted by SSKM authorities. The standard procedure was followed and the liver was given to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital. A patient from Bengal was supposed to receive the liver but it was finally transplanted on Nair.

According to the sources, a senior official of the private hospital who was present in the meeting failed to provide any satisfactory answer as to why the organ transplant was done on a Hyderabad resident flouting the norms. As a result, the Health department has issued a 3-day ultimatum to the private hospital seeking an explanation.

If the hospital authorities fail to come up with a valid reason, the Health department may take a stringent action against the hospital.

"We would take disciplinary action against the private hospital authorities if they do not provide any satisfactory answer on the irregularities that had taken place during a liver transplant at the hospitals," a senior official of the state health department said.

The CEO of the private hospital was not available for a comment.

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